Northern Health will be the first public health service in Australia to utilise a newly developed digital examination tool which will enable better access to specialist assessment for patients, from the comfort of their own home.
Developed by telehealth company TytoCare, the small, portable hand-held device includes a comprehensive exam kit, featuring a digital stethoscope for heart and lung examinations, a thermometer, and a tongue depressor to examine throat and tonsils.
The tool can be easily paired with a user-friendly app and clinician dashboard to become a complete telehealth platform for sharing exam data and conducting live video exams.
Northern Health’s heart failure unit head Gautam Vaddadi said that while heart failure is a life-long chronic illness that often causes patients to be repeatedly admitted to hospital, Northern Health has developed an innovative program using the device that delivers hospital-level care for patients with heart failure, in their own home.
“This tool is critical for assessing fluid on the lungs, which is a common problem that affects patients with heart failure,” he said.
“This technology will allow us to make the best possible medical decisions when treating our heart failure patients at home.”
Chief health outcomes officer, clinical leadership and effectiveness and outcomes Dr Katharine See said TytoCare played an integral role in her team’s mission to deliver new interventions and technologies that will facilitate better health outcomes for the community.
“TytoCare is already being used widely and successfully internationally, with encouraging results,” she said.
“We wanted to bring these same technologies to the Australian healthcare setting.
“The device is currently being piloted in our heart failure virtual ward, and will support the team to deliver remote healthcare where appropriate.
Dr See said that patients will benefit from reducing the need to be cared for in hospital and receiving faster access to their clinical team virtually.